New research shows that breastfeeding is beneficial to both the child and the mother. By consuming breast milk, the child has a better ability to fight diseases. Illnesses such as stomach viruses and ear infections are less likely to occur by drinking natural breast milk. Additionally, children who are fed breast milk have been shown to have high IQs, and they statistically grow up to be wealthier than children who are fed artificial formula.
But it’s not just the child who benefits, as the mom also receives some nice perks as well. Mothers who breastfeed are said to have a stronger bond with their children. Additionally, breastfeeding might reduce a woman’s risk of developing diabetes and cancer.
A recent study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine earlier this week studied 1,035 women at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Each of the women delivered a single child in their respective pregnancy, and they each later developed gestational diabetes.
The study found that women who breastfed often were up to 50% less likely to develop a more dangerous form of diabetes in the following years than women who did not breastfeed. The researchers suspect that breastfeeding might play a role in metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
A separate study that was published in the Annals of Oncology last month consisted of an analysis of 37,000 cases of women with breast cancer. The study found evidence that suggested that women who breastfeed their children are up to 20% less likely to develop an aggressive form of cancer known as hormone receptive negative tumors.
Previous research has already shown that breastfeeding can reduce a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that each year of breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing breast cancer by about 4.3%.